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Focus ST Overboosts Initial Impressions

On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 2:14PM | By: Chris Salamone


Ford Focus ST test 2

The only thing new age car junkies like more than hatchbacks are hot hatchbacks. With that said, the market for sub $30,000 tire-shredding utility boxes is pretty limited. Amidst a worn grouping, including VW GTIs and sluggish Subaru Imprezas, Ford has decided to once again prey upon its limping competition with the second coming of the company’s Focus ST. For months now, we’ve heard lots of good things. And Ford isn’t letting up anytime soon.

In short, the Focus ST continues to impress – especially now that we know an ‘overboost’ feature will be assimilated into the vehicle’s turbocharged engine. Please, oh pretty please, can we also get a Men in Black-type little red button?


Apple Extends Siri To 'Eyes Free' Vehicle System

On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 1:09PM | By: Chris Weiss


Apple Extends Siri To 'Eyes Free' Vehicle System test 2

Whether you're an Apple owner or not, you're probably familiar with Siri, the tinny, feminine voice inside the latest iPhone. It's difficult to turn on the television without seeing one of those Siri-celeb commercials that paints Siri out as a sort of robo-butler-extraordinaire. Turns out, this butler will be able to chaffeur you around as well as help you navigate the Web and create reminders.

At its World Wide Developers Conference this week, Apple introduced what it calls Eyes Free. The system integrates Siri technology into a variety of vehicles.


World's Fastest Man Teams Up With One Of Its Quickest Cars

On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 12:01PM | By: Chris Weiss


World's Fastest Man Teams Up With One Of Its Quickest Cars test 2

Nissan has teamed up with Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt in a new campaign it calls "WHAT IF_". With anticipation building for the London Summer Games, Nissan hopes to use the "world's fastest man" in spreading awareness of its GT-R supercar.

Celebrity endorsements don't always make a whole lot of sense (Olympic snowboarder Shaun White's line of Target homewares, anyone?), but pairing the electrifyingly fast Usain Bolt with the one of the world's quickest cars seems like a natural fit. At less than a tenth of the cost of a Bugatti Veyron, the GT-R sprints to 62 mph just three-tenths of a second slower at 2.8 seconds. Bolt may not be able to run that fast, but his 9.58-second 100-meter time is the more impressive feat of the two, considering it captured the world record.


Sound The Keyed Fiddle's Dirge, V40 Not For US

On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 11:03AM | By: Chris Salamone


2013 Volvo V40 test 2

Since first glimpsing the Volvo V40 on a snowy sojourn in December of 2011, it was love at first sight. My second car was a Volvo and the company will always hold a warm spot in the dark and often confusing recesses of my blood pump. But the V40 is more than just your average, run of the mill, Volvo. This is a vehicle which harks back to the days of yore, when Volvos were safe, practical, and surprisingly fun.

Unfortunately, though, no matter how much we adore the V40, Volvo is playing hard to get. The V40 is not bound for US soil – so far.


 

Lamborghini Aventador Takes On F-16 (Video)

On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 10:07AM | By: Chris Weiss


Lamborghini Aventador Takes On F-16 test 2

There's something incredibly engaging about supercar races. Years upon years of technology, research, engineering and testing boiled down into a singular moment that answers the most pressing of questions: Which one is faster?

As great as it is to watch two supercars compete on the track, it can be even more interesting when a supercar takes on a jet. Much like the match-up of heavyweight boxer and UFC champion, there's something intriguing about two masters from different genres going head to head. In this particular match-up, the latest Lambo takes on an F-16 fighter jet.


Scion FR-S May Have Some Technical Problems

On: Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 2:46PM | By: Chris Weiss


Scion FR-S May Have Some Technical Problems test 2

Ordinarily we'd hold off on reporting about any vehicular technical issues until a more official recall or statement by the automaker. However, when a car like the Scion FR-S - one of the most publicized cars of the year - starts developing alleged problems a week after launching, it's worth taking note of.

According to Jalopnik, Toyota issued two 'tech tip' warnings to its dealers last month about the FR-S. The first tips says that some FR-S models "exhibit a condition where the rear combination lamps appear to have moisture on the inside of the plastic lens." Cutting through the polite PR-speak, we're left with: "the taillamps aren't sealed properly and will fog with condensation." The other tip is the car "may exhibit a condition where body panel fitting may not meet customer expectations," which we'll translate to "body panels may pop off."


AmoritzGT DoniRosset Brazilian Supercar

On: Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 3:02PM | By: Chris Weiss


AmoritzGT DoniRosset Brazilian Supercar test 2

Brazil may not be known for its supercar infrastructure, but that could all change if more cars like the AmoritzGT DoniRosset start showing up. Despite its clunky name, the supercar is an exciting, stylish ride. And what more could you expect from the land of thongs, bikini waxing and lusty supermodels.

The DoniRosset may not supplant Adriana Lima as the most beautiful thing to come out of Brazil, but luckily, it's not really competing with her. And in terms of the real competition, the DoniRosset can hold its own. While there's some clear influence from Lamborghini in the overall shape, and maybe even a little Marussia in the face, the car is original and attractive enough to not dismiss as 'another derivative supercar the world didn't need.'


No Price Change On 2013 Chevy Volt

On: Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 12:50PM | By: Chris Weiss


No Price Change On 2013 Chevy Volt test 2

Chevy is doing a lot of talking about the 2013 Volt. We already saw that Volt buyers will get a little more efficiency with the new model. Of course, that left us wondering: How much will that increased range (and other updates) cost? The answer is - nothing. Chevy says that pricing on the 2013 Volt will remain steady.

According to Inside Line, GM confirmed that pricing on the 2013 Volt won't increase. Of course, it also said that pricing won't decrease, so there won't be a drop like the one between 2011 and 2012 models. The price will sit at the same $39,995 mark as the 2012 Volt.


Fiat 500 Abarth -- We Don't Quite Get It

On: Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 10:19AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Fiat 500 Abarth test 2

By now you're probably seen them. One of the commercials for the new Fiat 500 Abarth -- either the scorching hot supermodel posing as a Fiat or the other commercial with the same girl being flaunted about by the notorious Charlie Sheen. Fiat has arguably gone overboard trying to convince us that we should undoubtedly desire the 500 Abarth above just about anything else on the road. And while we appreciate the effort, when it comes right down to where the rubber meets the road -- we don't see it. There have been so many cars marketed by manufacturers over the years that although we have not become completely desensitized to the whip-around-a-corner, go-fast-in-a-straighaway-with-nothing-else-around-it-to-give-us-perspective marketing gimmicks, we have become substantially more skeptical about taking advertisers at their word.

Putting aside the question of why anyone would think that Charlie Sheen would help sell a car, let's just take the car itself and gain a little perspective shall we? So aside from the cool black paint and snazzy scorpion logo, the Fiat looks like the exact antithesis of its tall, rail-thin supermodel spokesperson -- the Abarth looks short, stout, and arguably portly. Fiat has given the 500 Abarth all of the little sporty amenities it could squeeze into the little car -- red stitched seats, a fun dashboard, even a shift light, but really, for all its sporty features, when it comes right down to it, it seems like the Abarth is a-bark, not a-bite.


Ford Rivals P.T. Barnum's Marketing Prowess, Via F-150 SSV Package

On: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 5:14PM | By: Chris Salamone


Ford F-150 Fire Rescue test 2

References to mid-19th Century circus advocates aside, Ford is a company known for relentless self-promotion. Perhaps surprisingly then, in many cases Ford’s colorful advertising is backed by products which command the respect and credibility so boldly called for. But, on the flip side, the company’s crackshot public relations team occasionally over fires the marketing cannon. Ford’s recent F-150 Special Services Vehicle Package press release falls into category two.

Pictured in the press release are two images of Ford F-150s, presumably equipped with the Special Service Vehicle Package, themed appropriately for Fire Rescue and Police. And a quick scan of the release’s headlines suggests that the optional package will come at “no-charge” to fleet customers.

Of course that doesn’t mean fleet customers will get Fire Rescue or Police equipped vehicles at no charge. That would make far too much sense. In this instance, what you see…is not what you get.


Kia Optima Makes World-Record Road Trip (Video)

On: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 3:23PM | By: Chris Weiss


Kia Optima Makes World-Record Road Trip test 2

Last year, Kia Motors set out to earn itself a world record. As you might anticipate, the Korean automaker was ill-equipped to take a stab at any type of speed record, but with its 2011 Optima Hybrid, it made a record-breaking road trip across the continental United States. A new commercial highlights the feat.

The specific goal that Kia went for was the lowest fuel consumption for a car. It didn't quite stake an unqualified claim for lowest fuel consumption for a hybrid - a Toyota Auris Hybrid averaged better in 2010, but it set a record of its own: "lowest fuel consumption in a hybrid gasoline vehicle, while driving through all 48 adjoining U.S. states."